I flew up to Whitehorse on June 8th to visit Olivia and had a great few days in the north. I was a little shocked at first because they were experiencing a 50 year record for heat on the 8th and 9th , the 10th was decent and by the 11th it was a normal ,cool ,northern spring day ! But June 9th was 29 C and I had a hotel room that didn’t have any A/C. I survived. The lack of darkness was another thing I had forgotten about and. It was only dark from about 2 am to 4 am.It looks like high noon at 8 pm!
I had a great time though hanging out with Olivia and touring the north with her. We walked and talked around town on Thursday after I arrived and she showed me the city. The mighty Yukon River runs through Whitehorse and I was impressed. We decided to go for dinner around 6 and went to Klondike Rib and Salmon which is one of the best places I have eaten in quite awhile. It’s been on the Food Networks show “You Gotta Eat here” and deserves to be.
On Friday Olivia took me on a road trip to Skagway Alaska. It’s only a 2-hour drive and in the summer there is no shortage of daylight, so there’s no need to rush the drive. One thing that immediately struck me as unusual is that we would be driving south to get to Skagway! I just assume Alaska is north. The drive to Skagway was beautiful. We were on the Klondike Highway and there were so many lakes and rivers and mountains. But first we stopped 70 km from Whitehorse at a community called Carcross which is home to the Carcross/Tagish First Nation, with a population of about 250.They have a terrific small but unique boardwalk commercial area set up for the summer tourist season with food and many crafts for sale.
After this , we were Alaska bound with a few stops for some great pictures.
Our last stop before Skagway was Dyea a former town with just a few small homesteads left. It’s at the convergence of the Taiya River and Taiya Inlet and it is the south trail-head for the Chilkoot Pass. Dyea was abandoned for the offering of deeper port waters at Skagway a hundred years ago. The Chilkoot Pass and Dyea are U.S. National Historic Landmarks. When Lori and I were planning our West Coast Trail hike that we completed in July 2016 we talked about doing the Chilkoot Trail. Now that I have been up in this country, seen how beautiful it is, I am going to revive the conversation.
The links for the Chilkoot Trail and the Chilkoot Pass are different if you’re checking them out.
It was now on to Skagway, a mere 10 miles away. Skagway was a surprise for me to see and totally captivating. The main street and the side streets off main have all been restored and maintained to their original appearance of 130 years ago. The population is only 1,060 but it doubles in the summer to handle upwards of 900,000 visitors, most of who arrive on the cruise ships. During the Klondike Gold Rush the town was virtually lawless and was described at that time by a North West Mounted Policeman as “hell on earth”. People came from all over America and Canada, up the pacific coast to Skagway before heading for the Yukon gold via the Chilkoot Trail. I have fallen for Skagway and I need to get back there. From Skagway you can catch a ferry to Juneau and Haines if you wanted. Skagway had more than enough to keep me busy for awhile taking pictures and snooping around before we settled down to the reason we had come to Skagway;the promise of a big, fresh ,crab dinner
We had a fantastic 1lb crab dinner each with ice tea to drink and hot melted butter for the crab meat! I don’t even remember the name of the restaurant or I would cite it here because the staff were so friendly, and service was good. I could have eaten another. I was stuffed though. After dinner, we hit the streets again and Olivia treated me to a t-shirt! We bought some candy for the drive back to Whitehorse and we headed home but we had to take 4 tries to get out of town, as I was filming a snap chat and had to get it perfect,while even just correct. Olivia has more patience than I remember her having.Ha
Another thing to mention is the weather. It was 29 when we left Whitehorse and 9 when we got to Skagway and 27 again when we got back to Whitehorse ,at 9 pm.
Saturday, we stayed around Whitehorse and one of the things we did was go to the Pride Parade. That was my first Pride parade and although not as big as Calgary’s it was bigger than I expected. Also, you can see by the picture that this has to be the coolest Pride sticker ever.
Sunday, we drove a couple of hours up to Haines Junction and into Kluane National Park. At Haines Junction, you can choose to continue on the Alaska Highway towards Anchorage or you can carry on through Kluane and to Haines Alaska. Kluane was beautiful, windy and cold. All at the same time. We saw a couple of bears in the park and got some good photos of the one guy who was not interested in us at all. He just tried his best to ignore us and carry on his way.
On our way home, we stopped at Haines Junction at their famous little bakery and we both had a drink and I added a cinnamon bun before we made the trek back to Whitehorse. I was leaving for Calgary the next day and the thought came to mind as to why so many people want to drive the Alaska Highway each summer. It’s been added to my list of things to accomplish. I had a great time and great time hanging out with Olivia.
Whitehorse is a pretty nice little city and I have always loved the north. I’ll be back.
Finished the Willie Nelson autobiography this week and I’m a little disappointed in it.Compared to the Gregg Allman autobiography and Stephen King memoirs I’ve recently read, I felt like Willie glossed over a lot of things that did or might have happened that I would have been interested in. It was very clean. Not one story from the bus! I felt like he wrote it and was far too careful not to offend an ex wife or a friend and it seemed like he possibly was hiding things from his adult children.That being said,it was Willie Nelson and it was still an interesting story.
The song this week is from Bonnie Raitt who Lori and I saw on Friday the 16th.
She is as good today as she was 40 years ago! This is her singing one of my favorite songs written by John Prine, another favorite.
The quote this week is from Howard Zinn.
“The future is an inﬁnite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in deﬁance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.”
Thanks for reading and I hope you’ll drop back next week………….